I've gone and done it. I think my heart has been "sealed for the orphan," as I heard someone say once. Oh dear.
I didn't think it was going to happen to me. Husband and I are still committed to trying to figure out this IF thing, and I swore up and down that I wasn't going to learn about adoption until we were both ready. With Husband taking so much longer than me to even come to grips with the fact that we're experiencing IF, I knew that I should put it out of my mind.
For months, it was ok. I'd occasionally visit Leila's Orphan Report and maybe got onto Reece's Rainbow once to donate to Larisa. I poked around the site for a bit, said a few prayers for the kids, but then I moved on. It wasn't making an impact. Or maybe it was, just in tiny, tiny ways.
Leila posted a link to the documentary Bulgaria's Abandoned Children, a 9-part series that you can watch on youtube. It's horrifying; there's no other way to describe it. If you watch, there is a shorter follow-up series that's totally worth watching, so you can get to see some of the kids a year or so later.
Becky, who makes my favorite rosaries, has an adopted nephew, Alex, whose parents blog about bringing him home and helping him flourish. That blog regularly moves me to tears. Seeing that child smile, it's just incredible. But seeing the hard work that the adoption took, that parenting a special needs child who doesn't speak English (though that's changing) takes, that dealing with the medical system takes, honestly, it wasn't inspiring me to adopt. It was making me see all my flaws; I do not have the strength and wisdom to do what these people are doing.
Recently, I've been following this couple's journey to adopt two children. One is a 10-year-old girl, Maria, and the other is a little boy, Elijiah, whom they met on their first trip to meet Maria. Somewhere in the midst of reading about their adoption journey, I think I lost it. I started visiting Reece's Rainbow pretty regularly.
And then I saw this little girl:
My first thought upon seeing Marjorie was that she looks just like me! Really, she's basically mini-January, folks. Except that she's an HIV+ Eastern European orphan. Looking at her breaks my heart. Life for these kids after they age out of the orphanages is very, very hard. The idea of Marjorie ending up in any situation other than that of getting adopted by a loving family is something that's starting to keep me up at night.
I've still only learned a little bit about adoption, because Husband isn't ready to go down that path. I purposefully did not want to get ahead of him, because being ahead of him on our infertility journey was and is hard enough. We discussed it recently, and he's not in adoption land yet, much less international, special health needs, older child adoption land. But this little girl, she is my wake-up call. Whether or not we have biological children, it's time to learn about adoption.
So, I want to ask if you'd please pray for Marjorie. If you have extra spending money some month, think about making a donation to her adoption fund. If you know someone whose family is incomplete without this child with the big smile and even bigger personality, tell them that she's out there waiting. I might not get to be her mom, but I'd really like to help her mama and daddy find her.